Balloon Repair Station

Sunset – the Twilight Zone by Steve Roake

Sat here on the patio absorbing the sweet chorus of sunset, serenity descends upon you as you ease into the evening drama. Each act is played against nature’s band of living creatures bustling through their daily chores.

Everyday toils are completed, and the natural world starts to take over once again. A church tower chimes the half hour, a wood pigeon coos and the scent of freshly cut grass invades your space, evoking a feel of summer. Above high in the wispy clouds, swifts forage for midges and mosquitoes

Looking past the pond with its cascading water flow creating the background to this symphony, you see a solitary airliner with the tell-tale plume of vapour trail shining silvery against the setting sun.
Bumble bees buzz from flower to flower, the hunt for nectar never over and high in the adjacent horse chestnut tree, squirrels munch on their treasure trove of acquired nuts. This is the golden hour, the time when day gives way to night and when colours change as the sun descends away over the horizon.
You could hear a pin drop; such is the ambience of the moment. Distant cars rumble along fast roads and yet utopia is at hand – this is your time, your place, and you grasp the precious gift that nature has served you with relish.

That fresh sense of smell is heightened as you take in the surroundings. A bonfire wafts across adjoined fencing and yet all is well with the world.

A new moon is spotted on the edge of the scene as the skies redden with the setting sunscape. It’s been a good day, a hot one. Red sky at Night and all those delights. The resident fox emerges from his hole at the end of the garden, the wild part, to hunt for food once again. He has that mangy tail and has seen better days, but he is a survivor and looks better than of late as he scampers off on his regular track.
And still the birds sing to one another. Staking territory rites or seeking a mate whilst out-singing the opposition. The trees sway gently as if in harmony with the surroundings as the sea breeze extends inwards gently blowing their branches with its presence.

Moisture is apparent; there will be a delightful dew in the morning and with it another act from Mother Nature’s play. The water boatmen glide across towards the Lilly pads as they Cox their way around the surface of the pond. Soft movement below alert you to the silent presence of the fish that also seem at ease with the environment. This is real, this is acted out daily, and yet how many of us waste the free ticket we have to indulge in the performance?

The light is beginning to fade and the settling stillness is taking over now. One by one the creatures are closing shop and bedding down for the night. A passing cat wanders over to see what I’m doing before continuing upon its meandering path through the jungle that is the garden, and yet the chorus continues.
Glancing down the garden the signs of children playing are everywhere. The trampoline has its cover half off, half on, and an abandoned bicycle lays strewn on its side dropped where it was last used. The energy expended has abruptly stopped and they are exactly where it ran out awaiting the next instalment of play time.

A singular Whirly line is dropped having served its purpose, looking forlorn as it languishes in silence, the cabling hanging like a spent force that has completed its task. Crickets begin to chirp, searching each other and a single bat whizzes silently overhead, shooting towards its next dinner. The last rays of light still project over the sky.

It’s the final chapter now. The mosquitoes are bolder, landing more regularly on me itching for blood as the time ebbs away. The golden hour is no more; the sky gives out its peachy finale prior to its imminent departure. You shudder as the cold envelopes you and transcend the body. Hairs on your arms and legs now extend as they seek to trap the warmth your body emits. You grab the dregs of your mug of tea and leave your front row seat as the performance ends, the wildlife bowing out with a final hurrah. In empathy with the exiting crowd a street light illuminates the montage of sight and sound.

Time to shut up shop and recharge and emerge to another day like a butterfly evolves from a chrysalis. The stage is set, the actors ready but who will view the next performance of “Sunset-The twilight zone”.

Steve Roake
May 2012